Thread: The distraction of work

Hi, friends—

I planned for today’s newsletter to be an essay, but a family emergency threw things off course. So I’m trying out a discussion thread instead. 

Long story short, my mom fractured her foot on our first night of a weeklong vacation. While this experience is obviously much harder for her, witnessing the aftermath of the injury and the chaos surrounding it resurfaced some trauma for me. It also reminded me of how much I tend to retreat to work when things are uncomfortable. Why sit with pain when you can keep yourself busy with work?

And that’s what I’d like to explore with you all today: What’s your relationship with work like when life gets hard? Are you the type of person who keeps yourself busy with tasks or do you tend to shut down and not do anything “productive”?

If you’re willing to share, I’d love to hear how you approach work during your harder seasons of life—after a loss, during a breakup, as you navigated illness or injury, or throughout another stressful time. In those difficult periods, what role did work play for you? And, has your relationship to work changed since then?

This is my first time experimenting with a discussion thread, and, whew, this is a weighty introductory topic to tackle! I know this is a big question, and there’s no pressure to respond if it’s too difficult or demanding to write about. But I am looking forward to reading (and replying to) your responses as they come in! This is a subject I’ve been thinking about lately; it’s one I’m hoping to explore more in future essays, and I’d love to highlight some of your thoughts.

Until then, I’ll be making the most of this remaining family vacation and taking care of my sweet, injured mom. Don’t work too hard, y’all!